Review: The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel

life intendedTitle: The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, comes a captivating novel about the struggle to overcome the past when our memories refuse to be forgotten.

In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past?

After her husband’s sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to find another love of her life. But now she’s planning her second walk down the aisle to a perfectly nice man. So why isn’t she more excited?

At first, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she’s really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband’s hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.

The Review:

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel is an incredibly poignant but ultimately uplifting novel of healing. In this thought-provoking and beautifully written story about love and loss, lead protagonist Kate Waithman rediscovers what matters most to her. Through a series of exceptionally vivid and moving dreams, Kate experiences the life she would have had if her husband had not passed away, but is it the life she was supposed to live?

It has taken nearly twelve years, but Kate has finally moved on from the death of her husband, Patrick. She is engaged to Dan, a terrific man that her friends and family adore, and she has a fulfilling career as a music therapist. But her happiness is tempered by an unexpected medical diagnosis and she still deeply mourns Patrick’s loss. On the night she accepts Dan’s marriage proposal, Kate’s dreams about Patrick begin and she is soon seeing her life from a different perspective.

The first thing that Kate begins to question is her relationship with Dan. He is a wonderful man and everyone agrees he is perfect for her. But Kate soon learns they have some fundamental differences and that maybe they are just coasting along. Kate is content with Dan but is she willing to settle for happy enough?

Another area of change in Kate’s life begins with her enrollment in an American sign language class. A discussion with her instructor, Andrew Henson, leads to a volunteer opportunity that forces her to fully re-evaluate her future. It is Kate’s friendship with Andrew that becomes the catalyst for many of the decisions she soon makes.

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel is a mystical and heartwarming novel of love, family and friendship. Although sometimes a little predictable, it is nonetheless a captivating and emotional journey that will resonate with readers who have struggled to move on after losing a loved one.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Gallery Books, Kristin Harmel, The Life Intended

One Response to Review: The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy